This Black Forest Trifle is definitely not a traditional trifle. It’s perfect for those who dislike traditional trifle (like my hubby). If not for the layers, I probably wouldn’t even call it a trifle since. This one is made up of fudgy chocolate brownie (instead of cake or Swiss roll), cheesecake mousse (instead of custard) and cherries with cherry coulis (instead of jelly and fruit).
I drizzled my chocolate brownie with some cherry liqueur for an extra cherry boozy element. This step is optional though. Add some toasted flaked almonds and adorn with fresh cherries and some grated chocolate and that’s it.
Even though there are multiple steps and elements to this Black Forest Trifle, they are all very simple and don’t take much time. Prepare them the day before and assemble on the day of serving to save time. You can also feel free to make individual portions instead of one large dish if you prefer.
If you need more festive recipe inspo, head over to my Christmas Recipes for some more delicious delights.
Black Forest Trifle
Cherry Coulis (Sauce)
- 2 Tins of Black Cherries (425g x2)* liquid only, reserve cherries for later
- 2 tsp Cornstarch
- 2 tsp Water
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter Melted
- 1 Tbsp Oil (Vegetable/Sunflower or Coconut Oil)
- 1⅛ Cup Castor Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ Cup All-Purpose/Cake Flour
- ½ Cup Good quality cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ Cup Cherry liqueur (for brushing on the brownie after baking) Optional
- 250 grams Plain full fat cream cheese Room temperature
- 250 ml Fresh Whipping Cream
- ½ Cup Icing/Powdered Sugar Sifted
- 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste or the seeds of ½ a vanilla pod**
- 100 grams Toasted Flaked Almonds
- 100 – 200 grams Fresh Cherries for garnish
- Dark Chocolate for garnish Grated or shaved
Cherry Coulis (Sauce)
- Drain your cherries, pouring the liquid into a small saucepan and setting the cherries aside for later (You will only be using the liquid for the sauce. The cherries will be used during assembly)
- Bring to medium high heat and a gentle boil to begin reducing
- Add the cornstarch to the water and stir until dissolved and lump free. Then add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce while stirring. Lower the heat to medium and cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until the sauce starts to thicken slightly (you want a sauce consistency, not too runny, not too thick)
- When the sauce is ready, remove from the heat, pour into a jar and set aside until room temperature. Then pop it in the fridge to cool further until needed for trifle assembly. Once cooled, cover with a lid or plastic wrap until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Note: Measure out the size and number of layers you will need for your trifle dish(s) before selecting the size of baking dish/tray. This will ensure that you get the correct size and amount of brownie layers. I needed 3 layers for this trifle which I cut out into circles using the outline of a similar sized bowl. Alternatively you can break the brownie into pieces for a more rustic look or use a round cookie cutter if making small individual portions
- Melt your butter and let it cool slightly while you grease your baking dish/tray with non stick cooking spray and line the bottom with baking paper. Set aside
- Add the melted butter, oil and sugar to a mixing bowl and mix to help the sugar start to dissolve. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined
- Place a sieve on the bowl and sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined
- Add the batter to your prepared tin and spread to form an (mostly) even layer (This mixture is thick and sticky and doesn't spread easily. This is normal)
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the centre of the brownie no longer jiggles and is just set to the touch. It will depend on the thickness of your brownie. (Remember the brownie needs to be fudgy not over baked)
- Let cool in the tin for at least 10 – 15 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting to size
- If using cherry liqueur, once you've removed the brownie from the tin, while still a little warm, poke some small wholes all over with a toothpick, then using a pastry brush, brush the cherry liqueur over the top of the brownie and allow to absorb
- Whip the cream until stiff peaks
- Then, in a separate bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, vanilla and sifted sugar and whisk until combined
- Gently fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture a bit at a time, trying not to knock out all the air. Ensure it is well combined
- Assembly will depend on your chosen dish or dishes. Here is what I did for mine
- Begin with a layer of mousse, add a layer of brownie, then spoon over a little sauce. I cut my brownies a little smaller than the bowl so that I could add cherries (tinned) around the sides of the brownie to be visible. Alternatively spoon some cherries on top of the brownie. Sprinkle some almonds then repeat
- Finish the top with a layer of mousse and top with fresh cherries and more flaked almonds. Grate over a little dark chocolate for extra garnish.
**Can be substituted with vanilla extract NOTE: If making the elements the day before assembly, ensure they are all covered/wrapped well and placed in the fridge until needed.